Making New Pastels Out of Bits and Ends

Making New Pastels Out of Bits and Ends

Reconstituting pastels from bits

When pastels get too small, or there is good dust left after a painting, I carefully keep it to recycle into new sticks. I like using the reconstituted ones very much, since they are such a mixture of in-between colors.

We have a dedicated mortar and pestle to do the job. All else that is needed is a bit of distilled water to reconstitute them. The pigment already has binder in them. I mix very soft and harder pastels all together, taking the mix of color and its accompanying hardness as it comes. I used to try to make them into sticks with a palette knife, but I’ve found I like using palm rolled ovals (slightly flattened) better.

In the photos here you can see the process. I just love looking at the colors as they are ground together!


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Loree 3 years ago

    This is so cool- a painting into themselves

  2. Meg Hanson 3 years ago

    My mom used to take old bits of soap and make them into a new bar of soap.

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